Happy New Year and Congratulations to all the newly elected local officials. Please do not hesitate to contact the League if you have any questions, need any assistance or would like to learn more about your role as a local elected official.
I. State Issues Legislative Agenda for 2019
A number of high-profile issues carry over from 2018 and will dominate the early 2019 New Jersey legislative calendar. The League is actively engaged in some and keeping a close eye on others to make sure local governments are not adversely impacted.
a. Cannabis Legalization
Legislation to legalize adult, recreational use of marijuana was moved out of respective committees in late November but have not advanced for final floor votes. There remains at least two significant areas of disagreement between the Murphy Administration and the legislative sponsors and, at this point, it is unclear as to when this impasse will be resolved.
The League has worked closely with the Urban Mayors Association (NJUMA) and the Conference of Mayors (NJCM) on the issue. While there is no consensus on the legalization issue itself, there is consensus on related issue in the likely event that such legislation eventually passes, including the need to increase the local flexibility in assessing a local option tax and the provisions regarding expungement and restorative justice. The League’s November 27 letter
has additional details as does the PDF of the free webinar offered by the League on November 30.
b. Minimum Wage
The Governor, Senate President Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Coughlin emerged from a meeting in December with indications that they moved closer to an agreement on a minimum wage increase, which would eventually phase in to $15/hour. Legislation advancing this efforts seems likely to advance in the first quarter of 2019, though details still need to be resolved. There are additional details in our the League’s December 7 Friday Round up letter.
The League will continue to advocate on other significant issues in 2019, including the long-overdue need for legislative reform to the Fair Housing Act,
adequate property tax relief funding, including the full restoration of the Energy Tax Receipts to municipalities
and to provide adequate cap relief to municipalities and property tax payers, including the restoration of the 2% cap on interest arbitration awards. Contact:
Michael F. Cerra, Assistant Executive Director, firstname.lastname@example.org
, 609-695-3481 x120.